A working prototype of a 3D-printed bitcoin terminal called PEY has been developed in Germany and is being distributed to retailers.
The PEY terminal is the development of entrepreneur Ricardo Ferrer Rivero, whose Hanover-based start-up is offering it for free to local merchants to encourage the use of bitcoin as a means of payment while bypassing the high fees imposed on German traders by credit and debit card companies.
The terminal uses iBeacon technology, enabling users who have the PEY app installed on their phone to receive a push notification informing them that a local retailer accepts Bitcoin payments.
Rivero said that he was prompted to create the device after noticing the lack of low-cost bitcoin payment solutions available in Germany. “It’s a no-brainer,” he said. “If you offer a merchant the possibility to accept payments without a fee and still have the benefits of electronic payments without using cash, it would be hard for them to say no.
“We currently charge no fee, basically because we see ourselves as a hardware company. So we’re giving it to people and trying to learn from it.”
The prototype version of the PEY terminal uses an Android phone as its processor, but Rivero aims to replace this with a Raspberry Pi in the next version, so that the technology can be made more widely available.
While it initially met with a sceptical reception form some, the project has grown in popularity. A total of 50 establishments have already agreed to accept bitcoin using the PEY terminal and 12 retailers in Hanover already have their own terminals up and running in store.
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